Are you trying to buy organic food and products, reduce waste and/or make eco-friendly choices most of the time? You want your kids to eat organic puree, you wash them with biodegradable soap and you do your best to be as eco-conscious as possible? But did you know that when you purchase organic cotton products, they are, most of the time, dyed with chemicals that are then released in the environment and therefore, ruining all your efforts for saving the planet!
Alternatives to chemical fabric dyes
I am one of these parents, constantly trying to do the best choices for the planet. But when I wanted to purchase organic cotton for my new baby and toddler collection, I was very much interested in purchasing these colorful fabrics, but then, it hit me. In order to achieve these perfectly even and very bright colors, they must be dyed with chemical products. I have tried a few years ago to dye my own fabrics, so I know how hard it is to obtain a perfectly even and bright color. So I started to search online for other alternatives and I’ve found quite a few. I purchased many different products from as many different suppliers and started experimenting.
My favorite natural dyes
Here are some of my favourite dyes (but I haven’t tried them all yet!), in order of ease of use and preparation. Bengala dyes, available at Loop of the loom
Already prepared dyes you just add to your dye bath:
- Bengala dyes, especially the pink colour (you don’t even need to simmer the fabric)
- Aquarelle liquid extract – especially the Saxon blue and lac colours (just add to water and simmer for 1 hour)
Natural plant extracts you need to prepare yourself (relatively easy) before adding to the dye bath:
- Osage – yellow (my favorite, so easy and beautiful, rich yellow)
- Lodgoow – purple (very powerful) Osage extract and liquid form available at Dharma Trading.
- Cutch – brown and beige (very nice, add some iron and get chocolate Brown)
Natural indigo, which is complicated to set up and understand how it works the first time, but once the dye bath is made, it can be used multiple times.
And you, did you ever try to dye fabrics with natural dyes?